How To Peel Tomatoes Using 6 Different Methods


How to Peel Tomatoes

There are many different reasons you may want to use peeled tomatoes in your recipe. Learning how to peel tomatoes is quite easy. Below we are going to cover several different methods that you can choose from to remove the peeling off your tomatoes.

peeled tomato close up

Be sure to check out the step-by-step instructions below that will walk you through the various methods on how to remove the skin from your fruit. 

Peeling Tomatoes

In being able to peel your tomatoes there’s an important step to know how to complete when cooking with tomatoes.

You can make many different things with tomatoes, and including the peeling of your tomatoes in the foods is not very pleasant. Therefore, knowing how to peel a tomato is very important.

Why Should you Peel Tomatoes?

There are so many delicious foods and dishes that you can make using tomatoes. However, learning to peel your tomatoes before making the dish is important because it helps your overall dish to taste better and not have any unpleasant pieces of tomato peeling in them. 

You can make so many different things with tomatoes, including, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, tomato soup, and chili just to name a few. All these foods taste delicious and are made with tomatoes, however, each of these recipes needs to have the peelings removed before creating the dish. 

How to Blanch Tomatoes

Before we begin our instructions of removing tomato peels it’s important to first explain what blanching is, and how to do it. Blanching your tomatoes is an important step to removing a tomatoes peeled for several of the following methods. 

In order to blanch the tomatoes, you want to prepare a large bowl with ice cubes and very cold water. This step stops the cooking and cools the food off quickly. 

To blanch tomatoes, you will take them directly from the boiling water or from their heat source and place them into the cold water. Allow them to rest in the ice water until the tomatoes have cooled. Then remove the tomatoes from the water and remove the peeling. 

peeled tomato with others

How Long to Blanch Tomatoes

Typically, it will take between 60 to 90 seconds for your tomatoes to blanch in ice water.

You do not want to let the tomatoes sit in the water for extended amounts of time as they will become soggy, but it is important to let them sit in the ice water long enough to completely cool the tomatoes, and stop the cooking process.

How Do You Peel Tomatoes

Below we are going to cover several different step-by-step methods you could use to remove the peeling from your tomatoes.

Some methods are faster than others, while other methods are more traditional than some. Let’s first begin with the boiling water method. This is the most common way to remove peeling from tomatoes. 

Boiling Water Method

Using the boiling water method to remove the peel from tomatoes is one of the most common ways to perform this task. It works well because it’s quick, easy, and efficient. All you have to do is follow these basic steps. 

Step 1: Wash Tomatoes

Begin by rinsing your tomatoes, removing any dirt, and removing the core.

Step 2: Score Tomatoes

Taking a sharp knife, turn your tomatoes over and on the bottom of your tomatoes cut an X shape to score the bottom of each tomato. 

Step 3: Boil Water 

Next, take a pan of water and place it over high heat. Bring your water to a boil. Add prepared tomatoes. Boil for approximately 30 to 60 seconds then remove the tomatoes. You should begin to see the bottom of your tomatoes where you marked them with an X begin to loosen.  

Step 4: Blanch

Fill a bowl with ice cubes and ice water. Place the tomatoes directly from the boiling water into the ice cubes and ice cold water to blanch for 60 to 90 seconds. 

Step 5: Remove Peel

Now that your tomatoes have cooled in the ice water, remove them and set them on a dry surface. Take each tomato and gently peel off the tomato peeling. Now your peeled tomatoes are ready to use! 

garden fresh tomatoes from the side

Broil Tomatoes in the Oven

Step 1: Wash Tomatoes

First, wash your tomatoes and pat dry, or allow the tomatoes to air dry. 

Step 2: Preheat the Oven

Turn your oven on to the broil function and allow your oven to preheat. 

Step 3: Cut and Core

While your oven is preheating, remove the course of your tomatoes and cut each tomato in half. Arrange your tomatoes on a cookie sheet, so that the cut half is face down, in the part of your tomato with the skin intact is facing you. 

Step 4: Broil and Cool

The amount of time it takes for your tomatoes to broil in the oven may vary depending upon your specific oven. It could take anywhere between 5 minutes to 15 minutes.

However, when the tomatoes are done you should see the peeling begin to pull away from the tomatoes, and the peeling is likely blackened from the heat. Remove your broiled tomatoes from the oven and allow it to cool before you try and handle them. 

Step 5: Remove Peel

Once the broiled tomatoes have cooled, remove the peeling gently by pulling the skin of each tomato. 

Gas Roast Flame Method

Step 1: Wash Tomatoes and Remove Stems

Before roasting tomatoes wash each one to remove any dirt. Remove the stem and core of the tomatoes as well. Gently pat dry. 

Step 2: Roast Over Gas Burner

Next, poke a fork into the center of your tomato. If you have a long fork this will work best. Hold the tomato over your gas flame slowly turning the tomatoes so that it warms evenly.

Continue holding it over the heat until you see the skin begin to blister and pull apart. That should take between 20 and 30 seconds.

Step 3: Remove Peeling

When you just begin to see the skin pull apart, remove it from the burner and allow the tomato to cool before you handle it. Once cool, gently pull the skin to remove the peeling. 

How Do I Peel and Seed Tomatoes in the Microwave

Step 1: Wash Tomatoes and Remove Stems

Gently rinse each of your tomatoes to remove any dirt, then cut the core off of the tomato. 

Step 2: Microwave

Using a sharp knife cut an X at the bottom of each tomato. Place each tomato with the X side up onto a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high for 25 to 30 seconds. 

Step 3: Blanch

Remove the tomatoes from your microwave in place them into a bowl of ice and ice water to blanch. Allow the tomatoes to sit in the ice water for 60 to 90 seconds, then remove from the ice water mixture. 

Step 4: Remove Skin

Your tomatoes should now be cool enough to handle. Gently take each tomato and peel the skin away. This will leave only your tomato. 

peeled tomato with others in background

The Freezer Method

Step 1: Rinse Tomatoes and Core

Before you begin, we recommend rinsing the dirt off of your tomatoes, patting them dry, and removing the core. Please know that this stuff is not required for peeling your tomatoes, but we do recommend it. 

Step 2: Freeze

After your tomatoes are washed and dried, place them evenly spaced on a cookie sheet so that they are not touching. Place them in the freezer and allow them to freeze until solid.

Once they’re frozen you should transfer tomatoes to an airtight container or a plastic freezer bag. Seal them securely then place them back into the freezer.

Step 3: Thaw then Peel

When you are ready to use the tomatoes remove them from the freezer and allow them to sit at room temperature for approximately 10 to 15 minutes or you can run them under warm water to thaw. 

When your tomatoes have partially thawed, the skin should be loose enough to remove. To remove simply take a sharp knife and slit the edges of the skin. Then pinch the skin off or use your knife to remove it. 

Knife Method

Step 1: Wash, Dry, and Core Tomatoes

To use the knife method to remove the peel from your tomatoes, first rinse the tomato, pat it dry, and remove the core. 

Step 2: Peel Tomatoes

Now take a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler and use the knife to peel the skin from your tomato. This method is very similar to peeling an apple or any other type of fruit or vegetable. 

How to Deseed Tomatoes

Now that you know how to remove the peeling from tomato, you may also wonder how to remove the seeds from inside of your tomato.

Sometimes it’s beneficial to remove the seeds before using the tomato in your recipe so that it does not become extra seedy. There are a few basic ways you can remove the seeds from your tomatoes. 

Gentle Squeeze

The first way and sometimes the easiest way depending upon your tomato is to first remove the skin of your tomato. Next, set your tomato so that the core is on top, and the bottom is sitting on your cutting board. Take your knife and cut the tomato horizontally so that you have an even sized top and bottom half. 

Now, take each half and gently squeeze the half of the tomato to remove the seeds. By gently squeezing you will eject the seeds from where they hide inside each tomato. 

Scoop the Seeds

Another way you can remove the seeds from your peeled tomato is to take the tomato, cut it in half horizontally so you have a top half and a bottom half.

Then take a small scoop or measuring spoon and scoop the seeds from inside your tomato to remove it and clean out any seed residue.

Cut Under the Seeds

The last method we are going to cover which you can use to remove tomato seeds from inside the tomato is to first cut your tomato in half. Then take a knife and cut under each seed section. Gently use the knife to pull the seeds out of your tomato. 

garden fresh tomatoes

How to Core Tomatoes

Understanding what the core is and how to remove it is important. The core is the part of your tomato where the vine was attached to your tomato.

This core of your fruit is typically quite woody and does not taste good. Therefore, you will want to remove the core of your tomato before adding the tomato to your recipe.

Use a Sharp Knife

The best way to core a tomato is by using a sharp knife. To do this, take your sharp knife and insert it at an angle into the edge of your core at the top of your tomato.

And carefully use the knife to cut around the circle of the tomatoe’s core at an angle, approximately 45° angle to remove the core, but still with your tomato intact. 

Best Tomatoes for Sauce

Different tomatoes are great for different purposes. While some tomatoes make great salsa, others make great pasta sauce. Some ideal tomatoes for pasta sauce include the Italian heirloom tomato, Sand Marzano, Roma, Big Mama, Amish Paste, and many others. 


What Kinds of Tomatoes Can I Peel Using This Method?

Most tomatoes can be peeled using the above methods. Some methods may work better than others depending on which type of tomato you are trying to peel, however, there is always a way to remove the tomato’s skin. 

When Should You Peel Tomatoes for a Recipe?

Most tomatoes should be peeled before they are added to your recipe. It’s up to you if you want to peel them in advance, and either freeze or can your tomatoes. 

Can I Freeze Freshly Peeled Tomatoes?

Yes, freshly peeled tomatoes may be frozen if desired. You can also can freshly peeled tomatoes as another way to preserve them if needed.

The Best Way to Peel Tomatoes

Above we have outlined six different methods you can use to peel tomatoes. The best way to peel tomatoes it’s entirely up to your preference. Check out the methods above, and choose which one you think will work the best for you. 

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How to Peel and Seed a Tomato

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Faith is the resident baking expert of this sister duo, and first started baking at age ten when she learned to make chocolate chip cookies on her own. From there she went on to have her own night of the week to make dinner for the whole family. She is excited to share amazing recipes and a love of food, and help you become kitchen smart!

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